Responding to the changing funeral market

How can independent funeral directors build business resilience against the increasing threat from the national online direct cremation companies?

What’s the problem? How can SAIF help?
Direct Cremation Toolkit Campaign 1 Mooving Funerals
Campaign 2 Let’s Talk Campaign 3 Pure and Simple
What’s worked for you?

What’s the problem?

  • Unattended disposals now account for between 11% and 18% of funerals depending on where you are in the UK. They are a permanent and growing feature of the market.
  • Many bereaved people are unsure about what unattended funerals involve, often confusing direct cremation with a simple funeral. 
  • Many consumers don’t know that their local independent offers such a service.
  • Many independent funeral directors are already losing families to the online competition.
  • With buyers of pre-paid plans increasingly choosing direct cremation, independent funeral directors must act proactively.

How can SAIF help?

The increase in direct cremations is a real and urgent threat to the future of independent funeral directors. There is competition from national online companies with considerable advertising budgets. However, together as local independents we can educate and engage our communities as a grassroots movement.

SAIF has taken these steps to help members: 

  1. SAIF / Westerleigh Diamond Partnership which gives members access to the best wholesale direct cremation pricing options. If you’ve not done so already, sign up now.
  2. Direct Cremation Toolkit: this is a central point of marketing and community engagement resources to support members.

Direct Cremation Toolkit

There are three approaches to address different issues:

1. Mooving Funerals – this campaign is designed to educate and engage consumers about the value of attended funerals. The materials support the attended funeral option and show the hidden costs of unattended funerals. Find out what resources are available to you.

2. Let’s talk about direct cremation: resources to inform your community that your company offers direct cremation in addition to the full range of funeral options. Many consumers aren’t aware that that their local independent funeral director can provide an unattended funeral. They’re contacting the national online companies instead of their local funeral director.

3. Pure and Simple: this campaign targets competition from the national online direct cremation companies.

The Pure and Simple campaign will be launched on Tuesday 18th July 2023.

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1. Campaign 1: Mooving Funerals

A short video to show the importance of an attended funeral in bringing together family and friends (your ‘herd’) in shared grief.

Mooving Funeral Campaign Resources:

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What’s worked for you?

The toolkit will continue to evolve over time and we welcome suggestions from SAIF members about new elements. Perhaps you have found a successful approach that might benefit your peers? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch.

Because by working together we can ensure that bereaved families continue to benefit from the excellent service and choice offered by your business – today and long into the future.

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